Starting A Cottage Foods Or Microenterprise Kitchen Business In California

Beginning January 1, 2019, a new law will bring new opportunities to entrepreneurs who would like to test a restaurant concept, or launch a micro-enterprise business out of their home kitchen!  We are here to help you get started!

Each state has its own regulations for cottage foods and home kitchens.  They will mostly all require very similar steps.  For our website we are highlighting the process for starting a home kitchen or cottage foods business in the state of California.

How To Start A Cottage Foods or Microenterprise Home Kitchen Business In California

  1. Decide if you want to be a Micro-enterprise Home Kitchen, or a Cottage Foods business, Class A or Class B.
  2. Apply for a permit for your classification with your local CA county Health Department.  Find your HD here.
  3. Get a business license from your local city or county.
  4. Obtain a fictitious business name registration through your county.
  5. Purchase Food Liability Insurance such as Flip.
  6. Within three months of obtaining your permit, take the online ServSafe Food Handling course and get your Food Handling Certificate.


What is the difference between a Microenterprise Home Kitchen and a Cottage Food Business?

A simple explanation of the differences:

Microenterprise Home Kitchen – can sell prepared meals in your home or directly to consumers.  Can not store the prepared foods overnight.  A maximum of 30 meals can be sold per day, or $50,000 per year.

Class A:  Can sell a selected list directly to consumers.  Mainly dried goods such as pastas and spice mixes, and canned goods such as jams and jellies. Storage is allowed.

Class B:  Can sell a selected list (dried and canned goods) directly to consumers AND retailers

How much does it cost to start a Cottage Food or Microenterprise Home Kitchen?

Below is an average estimate.  Cost will vary depending upon where you live.


Cost  / Description
$300  / Food Business Permit
$50  / Business License
$120  / Fictitious Business Name
$300  / Food Liability Insurance
$20  / Food Handling Course


 January 1, 2019 – California Micro-enterprise Kitchen Opening Day!